Sept. 24th: Chiusi, Arezzo

Ciao tutti,

Last night was our final night in Orvieto. Though it was a lovely city, we began our journey to Chiusi and Arezzo this morning, bright and early at 8:15am (earlier for those of us that needed coffee and food or wanted to watch the sun rise)!

Upon our arrival in Chiusi, we had a quick coffee and snack break and then learned about the history of Etruscan town at the steps of the Museo Etrusco. Chiusi (Clusium in Latin and Clevsin in Etruscan) was one of the twelve Etruscan cities. In 509 BCE, Tarquinius Superbus appealed to King Lars Porsena of Chiusi for help in regaining his control and power in Rome. In relation this, we disussed the efforts of Romans to preseve the Res Publica, including those of Gaius Lucius, Cloelia, and Horatius. The area is renowned for the “canopic” urns, several of which we saw in the museum. These urns would have acted as surrogate bodies for the deceased; they had heads for lids and in many instances attached limbs or were seated upon thrones. Inside the museum we also viewed a couple of funerary banqueting scenes and various sarcophagi.

We then proceeded to view the Tomb of the Monkey (dated to the 6th c. BCE) and the Pelligrina Tomb. The Tomb of the Monkey was carved into the bedrock and probably was decorated with various funerary game scenes (wrestling, boxing, and a woman seated with an umbrella overseeing it all); the roof of the tomb imitated that of wooden coffering. The Pelligrina Tomb (dated to the 4th-3rd c. BCE, and used into the 2nd c. BCE.) was looted in antiquity and reopened in 1928. Here we saw various sarcophogi that were left behindand witnessed a very different tomb plan than the Tomb of the Monkey. In this tomb the name Lars Sentinites Caesa was found, suggesting the use of the tri-part naming system (praenomen, nomen, and cognomen).

We checked into our appartments in Arezzo to drop of our bags, then we met in the amphitheater by the Museo Mecenate (where we noted the barrel vaulting and opus mixtum). After wandering around the museum and viewing all the examples of terra sigilata, the red figure volute crater depicting the amazonomachy by Euphronius, and an amazing Roman portrait on glass with gold etching. We then had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves! Some went to see the Francesco frescos, the duomo, and had incredible gelato. Tomorrow we leave for Siena and Volterra.

Until next time,



Photos (brought to you by the lovely Jiyoung):

“Canopic” urn from the Chiusi Musuem: cool, but also somewhat creepy.


The groups examines some funerary urns in the museum. At this point in the trip, they are becoming experts!

Brett casually awaits the group's entrance into the Tomb of the Monkey.


Thomas is ready to uncover the misteries in the Tomba della Pellegrina.


Amphitheater at Arezzo.


Barrel vaults in amphitheaters! Woot woot!


Piazza Grande in Arezzo




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